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Clarke talks up Liverpool squad

Liverpool first-team coach Steve Clarke has hailed the club's strength in depth following their 2-1 Premier League victory at Chelsea.

• Blog: Singing the Blues

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish left the likes of Jordan Henderson, Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing on the bench for his side's trip to Stamford Bridge at the weekend and saw Maxi Rodriguez and Craig Bellamy impress in their absence.

Maxi opened the scoring for the Reds, courtesy of Bellamy's assist, to help Dalgish's men on their way to an important scalp that sees the club level on points with Chelsea in their quest for Champions League football.

The outing was Maxi's first Premier League start of the season, and Clark has reserved praise for the Argentine while also highlighting the strength of Liverpool's current squad.

Clarke told Liverpoolfc.tv: "Everybody here knows the qualities of Maxi. He's been unfortunate this year that he's not had an extended run in the team, but what it does say about him is that he is a complete professional.

"When you're not in the team, it's difficult to come in every day, work hard and be prepared for your chance. Maxi has worked hard every day in training.

"Not just Maxi, but all the squad of players - they've worked hard in training, they wait for their chance. When Maxi went in, he did a fantastic job for us.

"Everybody has spoken about the squad we've got this year. We feel it's an improvement on what we inherited when Kenny and I came to the club.

"The squad is stronger this year and I think the weekend proved that. If you look at the bench, it was very strong.

"What you try to create at a club like Liverpool is competition for places. Everybody has that competition for their place now and it can only be helpful for the group going forward."

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